Tomorrow’s Engineers and Serving Students During a Transition

In every team and department at Northwest Vista College, there are always great stories to tell that show faculty and staff going above and beyond.

While it’s hard to capture every story, we hope to periodically share in this space some of the major accomplishments or projects that are taking place. Members of the executive team will write about important topics that they feel NVC employees should be made aware of. Let us know about the positive things your area is doing to help students or improve processes by contacting myself or NVC Marketing & Strategic Communication– Dr. Ric Baser, NVC President


Tomorrow’s Engineers

Russell Frohardt, Ph.D.
NVC Dean for Academic Success

Drs. Joy Zhou and Thomas Pressly arranged a meeting with the faculty and administrators of UTSA’s College of Engineering to discuss how to better serve our students who were trying to transfer one of our engineering courses on May 3, 2019. I could not have imagined that the ideas we discussed about the curriculum, including the possibility of having NVC students concurrently enroll at UTSA, would turn into our current Transfer Academy for Tomorrow’s Engineers (TATE) program.

I remember telling Dr. Baser about the idea while we were getting ready to hear capstone presentations from our business and entrepreneur students, excited about the possibilities for our students and our college. We were both worried about the complicated logistics of sharing recruitment and enrollment processes, providing advising, scheduling the courses, and coordinating the curriculum. Fortunately, we have amazing colleagues who took on the challenge from every angle.

Dr. Railey’s office and the district legal team worked with UTSA to finalize the deal (MOU) in March with all five colleges and Dr. Baser made the argument for NVC to take the lead, since we transfer more engineering students to UTSA than any other Alamo College. Luckily, Dr. Mark Appleford, the Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at UTSA, had worked on similar programs with other colleges and had a team ready to collaborate with us to get all of the processes in place and try to recruit an ambitious initial cohort of 30 students.

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Christina Brown’s advising team and Renata Serafin’s marketing team worked with their counterparts at UTSA to build the websites (UTSA & NVC) and joined Yolanda Reyes Guevara’s team to develop information sessions to recruit potential students. Thomas and Joy worked with faculty at our sister colleges, Angela Guadian-Mendez’s TAG team, and UTSA faculty to build our district’s first ever 4-year Transfer Advising Guides. Thomas and the engineering faculty reviewed applications and we accepted 30 students into our first cohort for the Fall.

What an amazing team effort! We now have a program that allows aspiring engineering students to access all of the services available to students at NVC and UTSA for their entire academic career, take classes at both institutions so that they can save money and seamlessly transfer, and have the opportunity to work closely with faculty and staff from both institutions. I am so proud of our work and thank everyone who is involved in making this happen so that we can build a brighter future for tomorrow’s engineers.

Serving Students During a Transition

Jennifer Comedy-Holmes
Dean for Student Success

As we welcomed the fall 2020 semester, we have experienced higher education in a way that is different than we have ever experienced. While continuing to serve our students virtually, we have continued to create opportunities for success for our students in new and innovative ways.

While there may have been some barriers and learning opportunities along the way since we started working remotely in March, NVC employees have banded together and have truly exemplified our touchstones of Community, Caring, and Synergy. A huge thanks to those individuals who have transitioned duties to serve students in critical areas and to those NVC employees who assisted throughout the summer with outreach to our students.

In the midst of continuing to serve students, Student Success is all packed and looking forward to offering services in our new building – Desert Willow Welcome Center (DWWC). Toward the end of September, DWWC will be open two days/week to serve our prospective students who do not currently have access to technology. We will be offering TSI testing and onboarding assistance to those students by appointment on Monday and Thursday’s until Thanksgiving week. We look forward to seeing DWWC and beginning to serve students out of this new space.  Student Success continues to offer a full range of services to our prospective and current students.

As we continue to work toward transitioning back to campus, a huge thank you to our colleagues who are working to ensure our safety and success in that return. Until we are able to be together on our beautiful campus, stay safe and thank you all for your commitment to serving our students!


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